Benefits of Using Infographics for e-Learning

The following is a guest post by Ashley Halsey, a content creator specializing in education. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us

Modern learning has presented a wide range of new tools and techniques for educators to help foster knowledge and appreciation of knowledge in students of all types and of all ages. The opportunities that have been presented are varying and have a range of different effects on students, but they mostly work by helping teachers present and relay information more cleanly and effectively than ever before. eLearning as a field is part of this revolution, where major learning can now be done purely through the internet, without a teacher and student ever needing to actually come face to face. Within eLearning, as an internet-based experience, you have to be very innovative with how you communicate ideas. The ‘infographic’ is just one of many tools that you can use, so let’s take a look at what you can do with it.

A Process of Simplification

Using language to describe certain types of statistical problems or data sets can be difficult and can have remarkably poor results. If I tell you there are four piles, one with 6 beans, one with 2 beans, one with 18 beans and one with 9 beans, that can be quite a difficult image to hold in your head while calculating an answer. But, if they’re already depicted, you cut a step out and everything becomes much simpler to grasp. The process of removing that step from the intended receiver of the information, is a process of simplification which can be a really powerful tool for relaying information efficiently. The visual aspect cleans the whole operation up.

Source- https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1._Infographic_%E2%80%93_We_live_in_a_nano_world.jpg, attribution – InsightPublishers [CC BY-SA 4.0

To Help With Memorization

It’s often the case that an eLearning course will culminate in some sort of an exam or test that is in place to establish the success of the teaching and of the student’s knowledge and attention to the course. Likely, the student will be required to recall elements to the course from memory. The visualization of information through infographics is an immensely successful tool for aiding retention. Recalling images of text is almost always harder than recalling visualizations of information. Online teachers want you to remember what you’re being taught, thus making infographics an excellent option for you as you continue to find ways to aid success in eLearning.

Higher Engagement

Just like when you are designing a website of some sort, a wall of text will always make things a lot less appealing for the user. Text is boring and not unique. It can be beautifully written prose, but the medium of choice is so standard that it’s not going to leave an impression on anyone or draw the eye particularly. Infographics can look however you want, which can really draw the eye in. Representation of information through infographics is an excellent way to increase student engagement.

Source – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Secondary_Sources.png, attribution – Shonnmharen [CC BY 4.0

Space Saver

Organization and workflow are key in eLearning. It’s not as simple as being in a classroom where you can always ask your teacher for direct guidance through the material, you have to be able to find your path through the learning effectively on your own. Clutter is a critical issue for eLearning material, since that sort of course based disorganization and confusion can create the same detrimental effects in the mind of the student as they try and progress. As the old saying goes, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’. This is very true and very relevant with eLearning. You can save space and be wonderfully succinct through use of infographics in a way which helps aid the work flow of your students.

Conclusion

There really are no downsides to the use of infographics for eLearning. They help in almost every way that you could hope they would help. Infographics are an important and effective way to aid in online learning.

Author’s Bio: Ashley Halsey is a professional writer writing on all sorts of topics relating to the modernization of education and the future of EdTech. She has written for Last Minute Writing and Research Papers UK.

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

6 VR Apps That Transform Education

To be transported half-way across the globe in seconds, travel back in time to visit ancient civilizations, or shrunk down to microscopic size and placed within the nucleus of a human cell all sound like things out of a science fiction movie. With Virtual Reality (VR), you can do all this (and more) out of the comfort of your desk chair. VR, one of the top EdTech trends of 2018, breathes new life into the sometimes monotonous classroom experience by revolutionizing the way we learn.

 

So sit down, goggle up, and get ready to take learning to a whole new level with these 6 VR apps:

 

1. Unimersiv

Unimersiv’s VR app is the largest platform for VR educational content. Explore the interior and exterior of the International Space Station, take a tour of the Titanic, or transverse the Acropolis of Athens as it was thousands of years ago. Go beyond the confines of a classroom and expand your horizons. With new material published every month, this VR app will surely create an engaging learning experience.

2. VirtualSpeech

Have a fear of public speaking, or just want to hone your speech deliverance skills? VirtualSpeech is a speech learning app that offers many courses and public speaking training simulations including speeches, boardroom presentations, job interviews, press conferences, and more. VirtualSpeech also offers feedback by evaluating and reporting your speech scenarios. The app can track the number of filler/hesitation words, the volume and pace of the user’s voice, and eye contact performance. You can also record your training sessions for future review and analysis.

3. Eon Creator AVR

EON Creator AVR (Augmented Virtual Reality) is an app that allows users to create, collaborate and share VR content. The app helps users design incredible learning content without the need for advanced programming skills. Browse the EON experience VR library containing 3D objects and 3D scenes. You can scale the size of the objects, build, configure, combine, lay them out, and add information to them (like names, descriptions, videos, slideshows, and more). Users can take apart aerospace machinery, build an engine, practice a delicate medical procedure, and more with this hands on app.

4. ImmerseMe

One of the best ways to learn and become fluent in a new language is to immerse yourself in that culture, practice conversation and surround yourself with the local sights and people. ImmerseMe is about virtually stepping into a beautiful and authentic location to learn a language, so that when you travel to these wonderful places in real-life, you’ll be prepared! Choose from over 500 scenarios across 9 languages. Order coffee in a cafe in Germany, buy a loaf of bread in Paris, or ask for tapas at a Spanish restaurant with this innovative language learning app.

5. TheBodyVR

TheBodyVR creates an immersive teaching environment allowing students and healthcare professionals to interact with the human anatomy and physiology in a whole new way. The app simulates real-world healthcare scenarios to teach and train more effectively and efficiently. It provides real-time, anatomically accurate, patient specific, VR simulations to visualize medical diagnoses, illustrate the impact of procedures and treatments, and create more educated decision-making. You can also travel through the bloodstream and discover how blood cells work to spread oxygen throughout the body, or enter one of the billions of living human cells and learn how the organelles work together to fight deadly viruses.

6. Anatomyou

Anatomyou VR presents human anatomy to the user from a different perspective. Become a part of the anatomy in an immersive way. You can navigate along anatomical structures and travel through the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and female reproductive systems. This app is great for biology students or anyone with interest in the inner workings of the body. Topics that were once limited to the pages of a text book are now captivating experiences.

 

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

Why Visuals are Vital [INFOGRAPHIC]

Online education has drastically evolved over time. What began as simple correspondence courses has developed into a rich, interactive learning experience which has completely reformed the world of education.

While early online courses were largely text based, today’s technology opens the door for instructors to teach via many forms of media. At first glance, such a change from traditional teaching methods of gleaning from text might seem like an unnecessary leap. However, research has proven that it is worthwhile to include visuals in curricula not only because modern students are used to viewing multimedia but also because brains process visuals faster than they process text.

Check out this infographic below from Allencom.com to learn more about why it is important to include visuals in any lesson.

Boosting Learner Engagement with Rich Media Infographic

Source: E-LearningInfographics.com 

Video Animation in an Online Course

tv photoThis title might seem like an anomaly. Animation brings to mind silly cartoons and juvenile programming. Animation, however, can be an appealing and advantageous supplement in an online classroom.

Here are five great benefits of using animated videos:

  1. Create a “trailer” for your course – Spark interest. Show by example that the course will be dynamic and exciting, not a simple correspondence course.
  2. Demonstrate professionalism – Fireworks and special effects are not enough to grab a student’s interest. While students value technology, they appreciate technology that makes sense. A video animation tool assists you in merging your logic and creativity to produce a clean and exciting delivery of your ideas.
  3. As an assignment – An instructor needs to evaluate a student’s progress. Generally, evaluations are conducted in the forms of writing responses. The assignment to create a short, animated film can be a different and compelling way to encourage student involvement and assess student progress.
  4. As collaboration – Group work is always important. Videos can be produced in groups and easily shared through many social media. This can generate stimulating discussion about the subject matter.
  5. Provide visual instruction – Educators know that it is important to teach to all types of learners; audial learners, visual learners, and kinesthetic learners. Animated videos can serve as visual and audial instruction and even create a broader learning experience.

Video Animation Tools

Though it may look difficult, it is easy for instructors to produce professional-looking videos. Check out these five video animation tools which empowers design novices to create incredible productions.

  1. VideoScribe – This tool specializes in whiteboard animation, a very popular promotional animation style. Images are drawn on screen imitating what an instructor might do on a whiteboard in front of the classroom. VideoScribe can be accessed on a computer, iPhone, iPad, Android, and Kindle.
  2. Go Animate – This tool aims to give their customers a professional style videos which are easy and fun to create. Users can choose themes, backgrounds, music, and even animated characters to enhance the presentation.
  3. Wideo – With the ability to choose pre-existing templates or start from scratch, Wideo users can take advantage of the intuitive interface to easily create modern and sleek animation.
  4. PowToon – This animation tool strives to enable users to design exciting and professional videos. Recognizing the importance of education, PowToon also specializes in enabling and training teachers to use it in their classrooms.
  5. Moovly – Complete with state-of-the art animation features, Moovly can students and teachers with special deals and educational licenses in order to harness its functions in the classroom.

How do you use video animation in your online classroom?

Learner Interactivity in a Synchronous Classroom

In this interesting presentation, Claudia Dornbusch of Facilitador.com demonstrates how to promote learner interactivity in a synchronous classroom. Topics include maximizing visual and whiteboard potential, chat and breakout sessions, and polls and audio discussions.

While these suggestions are intended for employee training sessions, the concepts can be implemented in higher level higher education as well.

 

E-learning: How to deliver an engaging Virtual Classroom presentation by Claudia Dornbusch

 

6 Powerful Ways to Boost Your Grades by Mind Mapping

Students Boost Grades Mind Maps

Students Boost Grades Mind Maps

Do you ever feel like you’re drowning in a sea of information? Confused about how all the facts, concepts, and data relate to each other?

For all students, learning new information can be overwhelming.

This is especially true in online setting, where you do much of the learning on your own; the teacher is not always standing by to help.

When you’re feeling confused, try creating a mind map to clarify the material. Mind maps are diagrams that visually represent how concepts are related to each other. (Mind maps are similar to flow charts.)

Here are 6 ways to use mind maps to boost your grades:

  1. Take lecture notes in the form of a mind map. The mind mapping technique is particularly effective when your professor presents information in a non-linear way or often goes on tangents.
  2. After taking regular lecture notes, review your notes by summarizing the key concepts and sub-concepts in a mind map.
  3. In preparation for writing a research paper, plan out the flow of ideas in a mind map. Start with your central thesis in the center, and add all supporting arguments as branches extending from that central thesis bubble. Examples and supporting evidence can be further branches extending out of the argument bubbles.
  4. Make a to-do list of all your tasks in the form of a mind map. Start with a central bubble saying “To Do” and then add bubbles with the names of each of your courses. Extending from each course bubble can be the tasks and assignments that you have to do, such as “Pick topic for research paper” or “Comment on discussion board.”
  5. Create a mind-map to organize what you plan to say in a class presentation.
  6. When you are working on a group project with your peers, create a mind map to plan out the necessary tasks and divide up the work among each of your classmates. Place each task in a separate bubble and then add branches from each bubble indicating which person is responsible for that task.

How have you used mind maps to improve your learning? Let us know!

Visually Organize Your Thoughts With Mind Maps

Mind Map of mind maps THUMBNAIL

Creating a mind map is a powerful way to organize your thoughts in a visual form. A mind map is similar to a flow chart, except that while flowcharts normally proceed in a linear top-to-bottom order, mind maps progress clockwise from the top, and feature radial structures branching out from one central node.

For example, here is a mind map that visually depicts the structure of this article:

Mind Map of mind maps

To create a mind map, begin by creating one main idea in a central bubble, and then add sub-concepts as branches that extend outward from that bubble. Those sub-concepts can then have branches of their own, which can have branches of their own, and so on.

There are many online tools that allow you to create your own mind maps, such as Mindmeister.com (which is now available as an add-on to Google Docs).

While creating your mind map, you can easily use any of the following features:

  • Customize the colors on the map
  • Add images, links, files, or notes to each bubble
  • Zoom in and out
  • Re-organize the bubbles by dragging them to a different position
  • Show or hide bubbles in order to temporarily simplify the map, or to test your memory

Why do mind maps help improve learning and retention of knowledge?

Mindmapping is a helpful way to visualize information because information is often presented in a non-linear fashion. For example, during a lecture, a professor might present a main idea, bring examples to support the main idea, go on a tangent, and finally, go back to the key concept and elaborate more. If a student tries to take notes on this lecture in a linear manner, it can become quite confusing and disorganized.

Mind maps solve this problem. Mind maps show you the relationship between ideas, structuring the information in a way that clarifies what is the main idea and what are the peripheral details. Mind maps let you see see the overall picture.

How have you used mind maps for teaching or learning? Add a comment below to let us know!

Using the Explain Everything iPad App to Give Feedback on Student Work

Explain Everything app logo

Explain Everything is a powerful iPad app that provides an interactive whiteboard for creating screencast presentations.

With the Explain Everything app, you can import documents, pictures, videos, sound files, or browser windows to your project, and then add drawings annotations, animations, or voiceover narrations. The final project can then be recorded and shared with other people.

Here are 4 examples of how instructors can use the Explain Everything App to provide feedback on student work:

  1. In this video, Mark Anderson goes through many of the tools included in the Explain Everything app. At 4:00 in the video, Mark starts to explains how you can use ExplainEverything for feedback, and the sample feedback itself begins at 6:20.

  2. Jon Tait demonstrates how he provides feedback on a student’s work using Explain Everything.

  3. T. Wood gives descriptive feedback on how a student attempted to solve a math problem. At 2:54, he gives handwritten feedback, and at 3:51 he gives the feedback in the form of an audio narration, together with Explain Everything’s laser pointer tool.

  4. Janet Neyer gives audiovisual feedback on her student’s paper.

Learn more about the Explain Everything app by watching these video tutorials.

* The Explain Everything logo is the sole and exclusive property of MorrisCooke.

6 Online Tools for Building Interactive Charts

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Want to impress your students with the magnitude of world hunger? Powerfully convey the ups and downs of economic trends? Visually depict the major events of the 18th century?

Use these online tools to easily and quickly create great looking charts, timelines, and diagrams for your course materials:

  1. Hohli’s Online Chart Builder – for creating line charts, bar charts, pie charts, venn diagrams, scatter plots, and radar charts.
  2. amCharts – for creating column, bar, line, area, pie, donut, scatter, bubble, radar, polar and stock charts. HTML code can be generated for embedding your chart into a website.
  3. Google Charts – for creating interactive charts in a variety of forms.
  4. Dipity – for creating interactive timelines.
  5. Gliffy – for creating diagrams and flow charts.
  6. Tableau Public – for creating interactive data visualizations and maps.

If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even put all your charts together into a colorful and cohesive infographic using these infographic-building tools.

5 Online Tools for Creating Educational Infographics

Want to present complex information to your students in a clear, organized, visual, and engaging form?

Create your own educational infographics using these 5 easy infographic-building tools:

  1. Visual.ly

  2. Piktochart


  3. Infogr.am
  4. easel.ly
  5. Venngage

*Visual.ly, Piktochart, infogr.am, easel.ly, and venngage logos are the sole and exclusive properties of their respective companies.